The Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (SERRC) consists of 87 members, having diverse intellectual backgrounds and interests, representing 29 countries. Please take a look at our biographies. If you have any questions relating to the SERRC, including submitting a contribution, please contact Jim Collier firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Alexandra Argamakova, Russian Academy of Sciences, RU, email@example.com
Dr. Guy Axtell, Radford University, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amir Bagherpour, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, IR, email@example.com
Kelli Barr, University of North Texas, US, Kelli.Barr@unt.edu
Dr. Lee Basham, South Texas College and the University of Texas, Rio Grande, US, Valleylabasham@southtexascollege.edu
Nathan Bell, University of North Texas, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Anya Bernstein, Harvard University, US, email@example.com
Melanie Bowman, University of Minnesota, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Adam Briggle, University of North Texas, US, Adam.Briggle@unt.edu
Leah Carr, University of Queensland, AU, email@example.com
Dr. Laura Cabrera, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Michigan State University, US firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Sarah Chan, University of Manchester, GB, email@example.com
Dr. Jim Collier, Virginia Tech, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Finn Collin, University of Copenhagen, DK, email@example.com
Emma Craddock, University of Nottingham, GB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevor Croker, Virginia Tech, US, email@example.com
Dr. Fred D’Agostino, University of Queensland, AU, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. William Davis, California Northstate University, US, William.Davis@cnsu.edu
Dr. Marianne DeLaet, Harvey Mudd College, US, Marianne_DeLaet@hmc.edu
Dr. Matthew R. X. Dentith, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest, RO, email@example.com
Dr. Susan Dieleman, Dalhoisie University, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Entsminger, University of Edinburgh, UK, email@example.com
Dr. Martin Evenden, National Taichung University of Education, TW, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Melinda Fagan, University of Utah, US, email@example.com
Dr. Robert Frodeman, University of North Texas, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, GB, S.W.Fuller@warwick.ac.uk
Dr. Jonathan Furner, University of California, Los Angeles, US, email@example.com
Dr. Noelia Álvarez García, University of Oviedo, ES firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Gombrich, University College London, GB, email@example.com
Dr. Iván E. Gómez-Aguilar, National University of Mexico, MX, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vera Green, University of Warwick, GB
Dr. Inanna Hamati-Ataya, Aberystwyth University, GB, email@example.com
Morteza Hashemi, University of Warwick, GB, S.M.Hashemi-Madani@warwick.ac.uk
Sreejith K K, University of Hyderabad, IN, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Eric Kerr, National University of Singapore, SG, email@example.com
Dr. Janja Komljenovič, University of Ljubljana, SI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Rebecca Kukla, Georgetown University, US, email@example.com
Dr. Joan Leach, University of Queensland, AU, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Clarissa Ai Ling Lee, National University of Malaysia, MY, email@example.com
Yong Seung Lee, Sogang University, KR, firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronika Lipinska, Lund University, SE, email@example.com
Dr. William T. Lynch, Wayne State University, US, William.Lynch@wayne.edu
Dr. Lai Ma, University College Dublin, IE, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katrine Lindvig, University of Copenhagen, DK, email@example.com
James MacFarlane, University of Warwick, GB, J.MacFarlane@warwick.ac.uk
Dr. Amanda Machin, Zeppelin University, DE, Amanda.Machin@zu.de
Dr. Alcibiades Malapi-Nelson, York University, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Carlo Martini, Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, FI, email@example.com
Dr. Jonathan Matheson, University of North Florida, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Fabien Medvecky, University of Otago, NZ, email@example.com
Dr. Miljana Milojevic, University of Belgrade, RS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mahdi Movahed-Abtahi, BASIR Center for Medical and Islamic Research, IR email@example.com
Dr. María G. Navarro, University of Salamanca, ES, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Stephen Norrie, Loughborough University, UK, email@example.com
Dr. Phil Olson, Virginia Tech, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Orozco, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, MX, email@example.com
Victoria Peake, University of Warwick, GB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. David Budtz Pedersen, Aarhus University, DK, email@example.com
Dr. Slobodan Perovic, University of Belgrade, RS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kamili Posey, Kingsborough Community College at the City University of New York, US, email@example.com
Jonathan Rocha, Brandeis University, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Patrick J. Reider, University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg, US, PJR23@pitt.edu
Dr. Verusca Reis, Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), BR, email@example.com
Dr. Francis Remedios, Independent Researcher, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Adam Riggio, Cestar College, New Democratic Party of Canada, CA, email@example.com
Diana Rishani, American University Beirut, LB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Alex Rushforth, Leiden University, NL, email@example.com
Dr. Gregory Sandstrom, European Humanities University, LT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Raphael Sassower, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, US, email@example.com
Dr. Frank Scalambrino, University of Akron, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Matthew Sharpe, Deakin University, AU, email@example.com
Dr. Mark Shiffman, Villanova University, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Elisabeth Simbürger, Universidad Valparaíso, Valparaíso de Chile, CL, email@example.com
Tatiana Sokolova, Russian Academy of Science, RU, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tereza Stöckelová, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ, email@example.com
Dr. Todd Suomela, CLIR/DLF Post-Doctoral Fellow in Data Curation at the University of Alberta, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Erika Szymanski, University of Otago, NZ, email@example.com
Jessica Tatchell, University of Warwick, GB, J.Tatchell@warwick.ac.uk
Dr. Georg Theiner, Villanova University, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Miika Vähämaa, University of Helsinki, FI, email@example.com
Dr. Elisa Vecchione, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Lee Vinsel, Stevens Institute of Technology, US, email@example.com
Dr. Ian Werkheiser, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Mark West, University of North Carolina, Asheville, US, email@example.com
Dr. Emilie Whitaker, University of Salford, GB, WhitakerE@cardiff.ac.uk
Pedro Saez Williams, University of Warwick, GB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Alexandra Argamakova
In 2013, Alexandra Argamakova received her PhD in Philosophy from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She took her undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Tomsk State University and studied for several years at Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia). Her research interests are concerned with STS, formal and social approaches to the philosophy of science, practical philosophy and history of philosophy (primarily positivism, the analytical tradition and pragmatism).
Dr. Guy Axtell
Guy Axtell is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at Radford University and serves as the Editor of JanusBlog: The Virtue Theory Research Forum. JanusBlog has links to many of his recent and forthcoming papers in his research areas of epistemology and analytic and comparative philosophy of religion. Teaching interests include epistemology and metaphysics, philosophy of science, STS and philosophy of religion. When not teaching or writing, “Dr. Ax” often seeks his ataraxia through biking, tennis, skiing, windsurfing, and curiously speaking about himself in the third person. Ataraxia: Ancient Greek term for psychic balance and “freedom from disquiet.”
Amir Bagherpour is a PhD candidate at the Department of Philosophy of Science and Technology at the Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies (IHCS) in Tehran, Iran. His research fields are: science and technology studies, philosophy of social sciences and sociology of knowledge. His PhD thesis, entitled “Rationality in the social sciences”, is about Martin Hollis and his contribution in disputes about rationality.
Kelli Barr is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of North Texas (UNT). Her research interests include science policy, philosophy of science and technology, and the impact of philosophy. In her current dissertation project, she explores the future of academic philosophy, specifically in the US. The project brings a theory of disciplinarity to bear on evaluating the successes – and failures – of alternative practices of philosophy in establishing new paradigms for philosophical practice, with specific focus on applied philosophy (broadly construed), environmental ethics, and bioethics. Her interests in the philosophy of interdisciplinarity, social epistemology, and the broader societal impacts of research stem from the combination of training as a marine scientist (Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida) and subsequent philosophical work with the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at UNT.
Dr. Lee Basham
Lee Basham (Ph.D. Philosophy) explores the epistemology of political and economic conspiracy theories within Western-style democracies, as well as related academic, mass media and political responses to allegations of conspiratorial deception and manipulation. He also collaborates in empirical research on the rational and non-rational aspects of conspiracy cognition and explanation. Basham teaches Philosophy at South Texas College and the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.
Nathan Bell is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas. He holds a MA in Philosophy from UNT, as well as a Bachelor of Science, with majors in Philosophy and Business Administration, from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at UNT, and has previously been a Research Assistant for the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity. Much of his work focuses on environmental hermeneutics and narrative, including a hermeneutic conception of envrionmental identity and how it mutually influences and is influenced by various elements of media and society. He is particularly interested in using hermeneutic and narrative theories to look at how different disciplines and different modes of knowledge production interact and influence/are influenced by society and culture.
Dr. Anya Bernstein
Bernstein holds a BS in Linguistics from Georgetown University, an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester, and a PhD in Anthropology from New York University. From 2010 to 2012 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows. As an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, Bernstein’s main work has been on the changing geopolitical imaginaries of mobile religious communities across Eurasia. Her forthcoming book, Religious Bodies Politic: Rituals of Sovereignty in Buryat Buddhism (Chicago, edp 2013), explores the transformation of Buddhist practice among a Siberian indigenous people known as Buryats, foremost through their post-Soviet renewal of transnational ties with their fellow co-religionists across north and south Asia. As a visual anthropologist Bernstein has directed, filmed, and produced several award-winning documentary films on Buryat Buddhism and shamanism, including Join Me in Shambhala (2002) and In Pursuit of the Siberian Shaman (2006).Bernstein is currently at work on two projects. The first one deals with religion, secularism, and censorship in Russia. In this project, Bernstein attempts to think through the moral dilemmas that have animated passions behind recent post-Soviet culture wars, particularly conflicts between contemporary artists, the Russian Orthodox Church, and perceptions of society at large. The second project explores the interplay between imaginaries of immortality and industries of life extension in the Soviet Union and postsocialist Russia, combining historical archival and ethnographic methods to investigate the politics and poetics of dead and dying bodies, personhood and its attribution and contestation, and the role of medicine and religion in organizing life and death in Russia.
I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Minnesota. I am primarily interested in the relationship between knowledge and solidarity, particularly how assumptions about what knowledge is make it difficult for the well-intentioned privileged to be genuinely in solidarity with movements toward liberation. My dissertation addresses these issues by examining how the privileged respond to recognition of their ignorance—especially when that response involves extracting knowledge from the people they want to help. I caution against the assumption that, since ignorance plays a central role in sustaining systems of oppression, more knowledge will be the solution. This is because I am concerned that cultural and institutional tendencies to treat knowledge like a commodity generate unreliable knowledge about the world and our places in it at the same time as they reinforce oppressive systems. Many of my philosophical interests are stimulated by experiences with Occupy Philly, Black Lives Matter, the history of harm from wild rice research at the University of Minnesota (https://www.cfans.umn.edu/wildrice), and the struggles and successes of teaching about social justice in predominantly white, middle-class classrooms.
Dr. Adam Briggle
Adam Briggle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies and a Faculty Fellow in the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at the University of North Texas. He holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and served for three years as a postdoctoral fellow working on the philosophy of technology at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. His research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of ethics and policy with science and technology. He is author of A Rich Bioethics: Public Policy, Biotechnology, and the Kass Council (2010, University of Notre Dame Press), co-author of Ethics and Science: An Introduction (2012, Cambridge University Press), and co-editor of The Good Life in a Technological Age (2012, Routledge Press). For the past three years, he has served as a field philosopher working with a diverse range of stakeholders around the issue of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the city limits of Denton, Texas. He has written about fracking in Slate, Truthout, Science Progress, and The Guardian, and he also has a contract with Liveright Publishing Corporation to publish a book in 2015 tentatively titled Let a Thousand Gas Wells Bloom: A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking. He is Vice President of the grassroots Denton Drilling Awareness Group, which is currently leading the Frack Free Denton campaign to bay hydraulic fracturing in Denton’s city limits.
Leah Carr is currently a Phd Candidate at the University of Queensland working in the discipline of history of philosophy on the works of Nietzsche and Spinoza. Her work aims to situate the thought of these thinkers as a conversation an extension of Hellenistic philosophies such as Stoicism and Epicureanism around the themes of Pierre Hadot’s conception of philosophy as a practice of self-cultivation, as well as, a naturalistic approach to ethics imparted by Martha Nussbaum’s focus upon the “medical analogies” that articulate the normative conceptions of well-being throughout Hellenistic philosophy. The outcome of such an investigation should offer a genealogical account that exposes the relationship between ontological constructions of nature and the normative conceptions of well-being that they imply. In contemporary discussions about well-being and (trans)human development, such an account may help to expose the historically contingent and regional character of some of the tacit assumptions that underpin conceptions of nature and well-being in these discussions. As well as helping to excavate some assumptions, such an account may also help to provide a more enriched list of options when considering the possibilities for humanity’s future development.
Dr. Laura Cabrera
Dr. Cabrera is Assistant Professor of Neuroethics at the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. Her research focuses on the exploration of attitudes, perceptions and values of the general public toward neurotechnologies, as well as the normative implications of using neurotechnologies for medical and non-medical purposes. She received a BSc in Electrical and Communication Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico City, an MA in Applied Ethics from Linköping University in Sweden, and a PhD in Applied Ethics from Charles Sturt University in Australia. Her career goal is to pursue interdisciplinary neuroethics scholarship, provide active leadership, and train and mentor future leaders in the field.
Dr. Sarah Chan
Sarah Chan is a Deputy Director and Research Fellow in Bioethics and Law, Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester. Her current research interests include the ethics of new biotechnologies and their impact on humans and our concept of humanity: in particular, genetic manipulation, enhancement and interspecies technology. Prior to this, she conducted work on the EU-CLEMIT project involving the ethics of “creating and redesigning human beings,” including ethics in gene and cell therapy, artificial and assisted reproductive technologies, genetic modification and enhancement; the ethics of stem cell research; and regulation of new technologies and public policy. She has previously worked on regulation of embryo and stem cell research in Australia and public attitudes and education regarding gene technology. She conducted laboratory-based research in molecular biology examining the genetics of male reproduction, and trained as a lawyer specialising in legal theory, health care law and scientific regulation.
Dr. James Collier
Jim Collier is an Associate Professor of Science and Technology in Society and an Affiliated Member in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought, at Virginia Tech. His scholarly interests center on the place, features and conduct of philosophy in Science and Technology Studies (STS). STS, Collier contends, remains circumspect in its attitudes toward philosophy. Consequently, STS does not possess a fully realized, coherent philosophy to call its own. The contention, of course, assumes that STS needs and indeed wants a unique philosophy. Specifically, Collier takes up his position through research in social epistemology, an approach to knowledge as a collective, governable achievement, and in the nascent philosophy of science and technology studies. Collier’s dissertation outlined aspects of a philosophy of STS and, after a detour into research involving scientific and technical communication, he returns to this work. In part, this work analyses issues involving normativity, case study methodology (problems involving empiricism in STS — observation, localism, inference and universality), interdisciplinary and the status of STS as an academic field, the governance of knowledge including, finally, how we determine significance. He retains interest in scientific and technical communication through the theoretical and practical concerns raised by work as the Executive Editor of the journal Social Epistemology and the founding, in 2011, and editing of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.
Finn Collin is a professor of philosophy in the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen. He received the mag. art. degree in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen in 1974, a Ph.D.-degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978, and the Danish Doctorate (dr. phil. degree) in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen in 1985. His research interests comprise philosophy of science, with special attention to the social sciences and the humanities, philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He is concerned about the situation of the humanities in modern “knowledge society”, and about the use of the knowledge produced by those disciplines. A current research interest is the relationship between the classical humanities and the emerging neuro-evolutionary paradigm in the human sciences. His book publications in the areas mentioned above include Theory and Understanding. A Critique of Interpretive Social Science (Oxford 1985), Social Reality (London 1997), Meaning, Use and Truth. Introducing the Philosophy of Language (Aldershot 2004, with Finn Guldmann), Konstruktivismus für Einsteiger (Paderborn 2008), and Science Studies as Naturalized Philosophy (Dordrecht 2011). He was a member of the Danish Research Council for the Humanities in 1998 –2002, of the Board of the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, 1999-2004, and has been a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters since 2003.
Emma Craddock graduated in 2010 with a first class undergraduate degree from the University of Warwick in sociology. She has since been awarded ESRC 1+3 funding to do a Masters in Research Methods in sociology followed by a PhD in Sociology. As part of the MA, Emma is taking a philosophy of research module during which she will be encountering many of the complicated concepts involved in the field of social epistemology. The focus of her PhD will be the ways in which political activist groups in Nottingham (UK) have utilised the internet in order to mobilise their opinion against public spending cuts. As part of this she intends to explore how political involvement has transformed with the rise of new technology and how specifically a local public sphere has been constructed via the use of new media. This will also involve contrasting ‘new’ media with ‘old’ media, in terms of their influence on the public sphere and political opinions. She is also interested in research concerning the position of and the future of humanity as a concept, as well as the sociology of religion and the social theory of the enlightenment and secularisation. In her undergraduate dissertation, she studied the (in her eyes, problematic) relationship between the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the New Atheist movement, looking at the (clashing) intellectual backgrounds of both and interviewing the chief executive of the BHA as part of this. She has also written a textbook review for the Times Higher Education magazine in May 2010. Emma is looking forwards to learning from the other members of the collective and to being challenged by complex ideas and theories.
Trevor Croker is a third year PhD student in the Department of Science and Technology in Society (STS) program at Virginia Tech. His primary research interests revolve around the nexus between digital technologies and their manifestations in physical space. Trevor’s research draws upon historians of technology, infrastructural studies, and STS scholars. His current dissertation project looks at the historical origins, and contemporary concerns, with cloud computing and distributed networking. Internet architecture and access are central to his project. Trevor approaches his research with a background in sociology. He earned his undergraduate degree in this field at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dr. Fred D’Agostino
I am Professor of Humanities and Executive Dean of Arts at The University of Queensland. My work straddles political philosophy and epistemology, in line with Steve Fuller’s observation that “the philosophy of science is nothing other than the application of political philosophy” to the scientific community. Some recent work is Naturalizing Epistemology (Palgrave, 2010), The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy (co-edited with Gerald Gaus, 2013), and, reporting preliminary results on my most recent project, “Disciplinarity and the Growth of Knowledge”, Social Epistemology, vol. 26 (2012). Other significant work is Free Public Reason (Oxford UP, 1996) and Incommensurability and Commensuration (Ashgate, 2003). I have edited the journal Politics, Philosophy and Economics and the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. My interests are at the intersection of analytic and critical techniques of the philosopher and empirical and theoretical approaches of the social sciences. I taught philosophy of social science for twenty years before coming to UQ in 2004.
Dr. William Davis
William is an assistant professor at California Northstate University’s College of Health Sciences. His interest in philosophy of technology led him to pursue his doctorate from Virginia Tech in Science and Technology Studies. William’s work focuses on speculative ethics of emerging technologies, object-oriented ontology, bioethics, and medical ethics. His dissertation elaborates what he describes as an “un-disciplined” philosophy of technology that is accessible to more than a small cadre of academic philosophers and is responsive to the increasing complexity and diversity of human-technology relationships. At California Northstate, William is developing and teaching philosophy and sociology courses that build on themes from STS and social epistemology. Thus, his current work involves implementing social epistemology into an undergraduate health sciences curriculum, a project he welcomes input on from practitioners and researchers of social epistemology.
Dr. Marianne de Laet
Marianne de Laet is an anthropologist/STS person who teaches (about) practices of knowing at a small liberal arts college for science and engineering in southern California. As an anthropologist of knowledge-making practices, she studies scientists and engineers-in-the-making. One might say that at Harvey Mudd College, she lives with her tribe. Marianne’s (research) life has brought her into the spheres of knowing and knowledge-making in anthropology and astronomy, intellectual property and appropriate technology, extremely large telescopes, training practices in dogs athletes and scientists, and, currently, the conjunction of tasting and knowing in the eating body. In her personal life (inasmuch as personal and research can be separated) she lives with a person and two very large dogs, who will all show up, periodically, in her posts, as they all have tremendous influence on her work. She is very interested in collaboration, collaboratories, collective authorship, and communal imaginations and in her view and experience such collaborations are not limited to those among humans. Among the many courses she offers is a new one, called “thinking about knowing,” which has to be further developed — having fallen into the trap of making it too much like a traditional epistemology 101 course in its first rendering. Marianne would like to direct it towards thinking and knowing as collaborative action rather than the concentrated effort of the individual genial mind.
Dr. Matthew R. X. Dentith
Matthew R. X. Dentith (or M) received their PhD in Philosophy from the University of Auckland, where they wrote their dissertation on the epistemology of conspiracy theories. Author of the first single-author book on conspiracy theories by a philosopher (’The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories’, Palgrave Macmillan 2014), their current research interest is in developing a framework for the investigation of conspiracy theories, focussing on the role of expertise and evidence evaluation in complex epistemic communities. They also have a side project developing an account of how we might talk about the epistemology of secrecy generally, which should probably be kept secret until such time it is ready to be leaked to the public.
Dr. Susan Dieleman
Susan Dieleman received her PhD in Philosophy from York University, Canada in 2011, and her MA in Public Policy and Administration from Ryerson University, Canada in 2012. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Gender and Women’s Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and Secretary of the Richard Rorty Society. Her areas of specialization are feminist philosophy, pragmatism, and philosophy of public policy. In her current research, she expands the scope of the pragmatist feminist approach she developed in her dissertation and in recent publications to interrogate and develop issues that arise at the intersections of social epistemology, deliberative democracy, and philosophy of public policy. Some questions that reside at the intersections of these three areas that she is interested to pursue include: Should public deliberation contribute to public policy decisions and, if so, how? How can we navigate the tensions between democracy and expertise? What is the epistemic role of diversity and inclusion in policy decision-making? What are the philosophical underpinnings of disagreement and its resolution? What is the function of testimony and trust in developing and implementing public policy? She is also exploring related issues arising from recent initiatives in the field of K* (knowledge mobilization, knowledge management, knowledge transfer, etc.).
Josh Entsminger is a first year masters student at University of Edinburgh pursuing a degree in International Relations. His primary research interests, as they concern epistemology, bear upon the circulation of narrative structure and social beliefs in the production of inference, intuition, and deliberative inquiry. His work currently deals with the applied practices of cultural transmission and heritage, group violence analysis, standpoint epistemology, and the common terms of interpersonal and interinstitutional practices.
Dr. Martin Evenden
Martin Evenden finished his PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick in 2010, which combined the insights of Spinoza and critical realism (the British philosophical movement associated with the work of Roy Bhaskar) in focusing on the nature of freedom and selfhood. Currently, his main interests lie in how knowledge can be positively used to have emancipatory effects at the level of and be made more accessible to the individual, critical rationalism (in particular issues that inform judgemental rationality – which explanations are better on the balance of existing evidence) and issues pertaining to reflexivity.
Dr. Melinda Fagan
Melinda Bonnie Fagan is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on biomedical experimental practice and philosophical conceptions of objectivity and evidence. Before joining the University of Utah philosophy faculty in 2014, she was an Assistant Professor at Rice University and studied History and Philosophy of Science (Ph.D. 2007, Indiana University), Philosophy (M.A. 2002, University of Texas at Austin) and Biology (B.A. 1992, Williams College; Ph.D. 1998, Stanford University). Her research in biology focused on colonial organisms (plants and protochordates) and evolution of histocompatibility. At Rice, she teaches courses in philosophy of science, theory of knowledge and social epistemology. Her current research is on philosophy of stem cell biology, with emphasis on experimental evidence for models of biological development, and the role of collaborative interaction in biomedical research. She has authored over a dozen journal articles and book chapters, and is currently writing a book about stem cell research (see http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~mbf2/ for links to articles and CV).
Dr. Robert Frodeman
Robert Frodeman is a Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas. He specializes in environmental philosophy, science policy, and questions concerning interdisciplinarity. Holder of advanced degrees in philosophy (a PhD, from Penn State) and geology (a masters from the University of Colorado), he has held positions at the University of Texas, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Colorado. He served as a consultant for the US Geological Survey for eight years, was the 2001-2002 Hennebach Professor of the Humanities at the Colorado School of Mines, and was an ESRC Fellow at Lancaster University in England in the spring of 2005. Frodeman is Editor in Chief of the Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity as well as co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Enviromental Ethics & Philosophy.
Dr. Steve Fuller
Steve Fuller is the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick. A Professor of Sociology at Warwick since 1999, Steve founded the journal Social Epistemology in 1987 and published the first edition of Social Epistemology in 1988. Social epistemology is an interdisciplinary field that brings the resources of the humanities and the social sciences to bear on philosophical and policy questions concerning the production of knowledge.
Dr. Jonathan Furner
Professor Jonathan Furner (M.A. Cambridge 1990, Ph.D. Sheffield 1994) chairs the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a faculty affiliate of UCLA’s Center for Digital Humanities. Furner studies the history and philosophy of cultural stewardship, and teaches classes on the representation and organization of archival records, library materials, and museum objects. He has published over fifty papers on these and related topics, frequently using conceptual analysis to evaluate the theoretical frameworks, data models, and metadata standards on which information access systems rely. Furner chairs the Dewey Decimal Classification’s editorial policy committee (DDC EPC). He is co-editor of book series for MIT Press and Facet (UK), and a regular reviewer of contributions to journals and conferences in the fields of philosophy of information, knowledge organization, and bibliometrics.
Dr. Noelia Álvarez García
Noelia received her PhD in Philosophy in 2015 after carrying out her postgraduate studies and research in Tampere University (Finland), the University of Warwick (England) and the University of Oviedo (Spain). Her interests cover a wide assortment of issues related to the relationship between knowledge and action. That has included so far the philosophy of logical positivism, American pragmatism and the role and definition of normativity within the frame of naturalized epistemology. Currently she is also interested in the role of emergence and social structures in the development of social and collective knowledge, action, moral and ethical behavior.
Carl has degrees in Maths, Physics and Philosophy and was a professional opera singer, having trained at the National Opera Studio in the UK, where he was the Royal Opera House scholar. In September 2010, he was appointed as Programme Director, Arts and Sciences (BASc) www.ucl.ac.uk/basc to lead the development and launch of UCL’s major new interdisciplinary liberal Arts and Sciences BASc degrees. Carl finds self-definition problematic and is interested in the concept of labels (!) but recently defined himself as ‘working in a university, where he is part academic, part administrator and part entrepreneur’. The last five years have been ones of active research into interdisciplinary education and he now teaches and writes on interdisciplinarity (as a concept, but also the practicalities of implementation), history of ideas (especially of the disciplines), expertise, liberal education and the future of work. Carl is a regular speaker at events on interdisciplinarity and liberal arts and sciences both in the UK and abroad, including the 2015 Harvard-AUC conference in Shanghai, the Global Leaders in Arts and Sciences event in Tokyo and as a keynote speaker for the Higher Education Academy. He has recently been appointed to the British Academy Working Group on Interdisciplinarity. His blog is at www.carlgombrich.org
Dr. Iván E. Gómez-Aguilar
Iván E. Gómez-Aguilar is a postdoctoral research fellow at King’s College London (KCL). He holds a fellowship from the Mexican Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT, 2017) He has a BA and MA in Sociology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from UNAM. In his PhD thesis, he developed a comparative analysis of the works of Alvin Goldman, Philip Kitcher and Steve Fuller, and proposed an approach to distinguish the social normativity of science in at least three social scales (1. social cognition, 2. testimony exchange and 3. institutional design). His postdoctoral project at KLC, “Knowledge, Reasons and Actions: Dialogues between Social Epistemology and Philosophy of Action”, tries to contribute to the field of social epistemology giving a more detailed characterization of the idea of “acts of knowledge”. In the last five years, Iván has worked as a teaching fellow at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, UNAM. Among other courses, he has taught the BA modules: “Social Theory”, “ Introduction to Methodology in Social Sciences” and “Structuralism”. As part of his general interest in public engagement activities, Iván has recently co-written and published an A-level textbook for the new compulsory course “Science, Technology and Society” of the Mexican education system. In previous years, he also worked as a public consultant (external evaluator) of the “National Institute of Public Health” of Mexico (2005-2007).
Vera Green is a student at the Sociology department at University of Warwick, UK. She is currently working on her undergraduate dissertation, Personal Identity and Law in Cyberspace, supervised by Professor Steve Fuller, in which she looks at the changing legal definitions of the self and the body in relation to emergent technology. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to continue onto a masters degree in Social and Political thought. Her general research interests include technology and the (dis)abled body, Scandinavian political sociology and the shifting notion of identity and the self in the 21st century. Angela is also Assistant Editor of the Warwick Sociology Journal.
Dr. Inanna Hamati-Ataya
Inanna Hamati-Ataya received her PhD in Political Science from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France, in 2006, and has since served as Head of Department and Assistant Professor of Political and International Theory at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and as Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She joined Aberystwyth University as a Reader in International Politics in November 2013. Inanna’s research focuses on the socio-historical and ideological foundations and conditions of knowledge-production in the social sciences, specifically in the field of International Relations (IR). She is especially interested in how exogenous factors have shaped the field’s (meta)theoretical orientations and debates, on issues ranging from objectivity and explanation to power, ideology, and values. This interest was first shaped by her PhD thesis on the place and role of values in the epistemic postulates of Realism in IR theory, and has since developed into a sustained exploration of sociological reflexivity as both a critique of idealist, analytical epistemology and philosophy of science, and as an alternative foundation for social-scientific knowledge and critical scholarly praxis. The problem of the socio-political and institutional obstacles that undermine the development of reflexivity itself has also become an important aspect of this investigation. Inanna is currently working on an EC-funded project that aims to investigate the macro- and micro-social factors and processes that govern the production, organisation, and transmission of knowledge in IR in the UK, combining a socio-historical analysis of the development of the field within its national academic and political environments, with an ethnographic investigation of IR scholars’ dispositions, worldviews, values, and practices. This project aims not only to illuminate the socio-political and material factors that shape scholarly standpoints and practice, but also to interrogate the socio-political condition, as well as the role and responsibility, of academics within the public sphere.
Morteza Hashemi is a final year PhD researcher at the sociology department of the University of Warwick. His research fields are philosophy of social sciences, sociology of knowledge and science studies. Morteza’s main interest in his PhD thesis lies in how the Christian theology shaped modernity. Considering the theological roots of the modern age, he is intellectually more on the side of a tradition of thinkers such as; Carl Schmitt, Karl Löwith, John Milbank and Steve Fuller. More specifically in his thesis, he searches for the theological foundations of the modern atheist conceptions of humanity. Moreover in the past ten years, Morteza has been an active blogger and journalist in two languages; Persian and English.
Sreejith K K
Sreejith K K is currently a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India. He is working under the supervision of Prof. Prajit K. Basu. Sreejith holds a BSc in Botany, and MA and MPhil degrees in Philosophy. His M.Phil thesis is titled “Teasing out the Social in Socializing Science: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Social Dimensions of Objectivity and Justification in Science”. He holds a Juniour Research Fellowship (JRF) from Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR). Sreejith’s primary interest is in Virtue Epistemology. He is also interested in Social Epistemology and General Philosophy of Science. His ongoing doctoral research critically examines the view in Virtue Epistemology that “knowledge is belief whose success is ‘creditable’ to the believer”. Two important concerns which he is trying to address therein are: (1) the argument that testimonial knowledge can be cited as a counter example to the virtue epistemological view of knowledge, and (2) the worry that Virtue Epistemology might be in conflict with some of the central tenets of Social Epistemology.
Dr. Eric Kerr
Eric Kerr received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Prior to that he trained as a lawyer at the University of Aberdeen. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Science, Technology, and Society cluster at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He holds a joint appointment at the Asia Research Institute and Tembusu College, NUS. Eric’s research addresses issues that arise in the intersection between epistemology and the philosophy of technology. He is currently working on a project entitled ‘Analysing Knowledge Cultures in Engineering in East Asia and Europe’ which is based on fieldwork he conducted with petroleum engineers in South-East Asia.
Janja Komljenovič holds a degree (University Diploma in Psychology) from University of Ljubljana. Soon she became interested in higher education and works in the field from two perspectives for several years: policy and research. Her policy and practical work began already while she was a student representative being involved in national and European higher education policy making, especially in the Bologna process and quality assurance in higher education. After graduating she was employed at the European University Association where she made a study on higher education financing in Europe and contributed to several others projects. Between 2009 and 2011 she was an advisor to the Minister of higher education, science and technology where she was involved in national policy making. Her main accomplishments were work on legislative changes for quality assurance in higher education (2009) and National Programme for Higher Education 2011-2020 (2010-2011). She was also national representative to the Bologna Follow-up Group and EQAR. Now she is employed at the University of Ljubljana working on institutional development and quality. The higher education field caught also her academic attention and she returned to the university. Currently she is a PhD Student in Education Policy and works as a part-time researcher at the Centre for Educational Policy Studies, University of Ljubljana. There she is a part of a research project team on “Differentiation, equity and productivity in expanded higher education systems – an internationalization perspective”. Her PhD is on ‘idea of a university’ and university autonomy mentored by Pavel Zgaga (University of Ljubljana) and co-mentored by Steve Fuller (University of Warwick). Her research interests are mainly: concept of a university, university autonomy, the role of universities in modern society and new circumstances for higher education. She is particularly looking into a university as an institution where old expectations (such as knowledge production and institutional support replacing genetic social reproduction) and new expectations (corporate university and world class initiative) clash.
Dr. Rebecca Kukla
Rebecca Kukla is Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Public Affairs Quarterly and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. She received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh and her BA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. She also completed a Greenwall Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioethics and Health Policy, focusing on epistemological and ethical issues in medical research methods, at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She is the former co-coordinator of the Feminist Approaches to Bioethics Network. Her main areas of research are social epistemology (with a particular interest in the epistemology of medicine and other applied sciences), philosophy of language, and issues surrounding the management, communication, and interpretation of risk and uncertainty. Among her current research projects is an extended study of the epistemology and ethics of large-scale collaboration in the applied sciences. Her books include ‘Yo!’ and ‘Lo!’: The Pragmatic Topography of the Space of Reasons (with Mark Lance), and Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture, and Mothers’ Bodies. She is also a certified Sommelier, a competitive powerlifter, and an aspiring competitive amateur boxer.
Dr. Joan Leach
Joan Leach is Convenor of Science Communication at the University of Queensland in Australia and Deputy Head of the School of English, Media Studies, and Art History. Joan has had positions at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and Imperial College London before moving to the ‘top 100’ University of Queensland. She was editor of Social Epistemology from 1997-2010. Her own work has centred on applied social epistemology in science communication, science popularisation, and the history of persuasion in knowledge contexts, better known as rhetorical theory. Her worry is that STS (science and technology studies) has evacuated the normative, mainstream epistemology has tried to eliminate the social, and sociologists have forgotten about knowledge. Social Epistemology should fix all that.
Dr. Clarissa Ai Ling Lee
Clarissa Ai Ling Lee recently completed her PhD education at Duke University in the Literature Program, with graduate certificates in Feminist Theories, Information Science + Information Studies, and the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine.Because of the different ways in which her scholarly interests project themselves, she has an undergraduate degree in physics and an MA in English Literature. Her dissertation has been an attempt at doing a thorough interdisciplinary (in the strictest sense of the word) interrogation of the ontologies (and therefore also the epistemologies) of quantum physics of high energy particle physics with the peculiar quirks of hard science fiction, and its theories of genre, therefore leading to a result that does not quite fit into any disciplinary mold, marking the dissertation as a failure in terms of a discipline-based product. However, that experiment in epistemology (and ontology) has unleashed a rich array of answers and further questions she had not formerly considered, which she hopes to pursue post-doctoral. As she transitions from being a graduate student into becoming an early career researcher, she is interested in pursuing projects that straddle the theoretical-abstract with real world problem solving. She would like to pursue, more deeply, inquiries into intellectual history and the history of science as part of her strategy for delving further into the global history of epistemology. Her ‘expert’ blog can be found at scandalousthoughts.wordpress.com and she tweets as @normasalim. She hails from Malaysia.
Yong Seung Lee
Yong Seung Lee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, Sogang University. He received a masters degree in Sociology and holds a bachelors degree in Economics from Sogang University. His master’s thesis addressed how Pierre Bourdieu’s epistemology of objective truth was related to his political intervention. Currently, his research interests emerges out of the Sociology of Knowledge in two ways. First, he further develops his masters thesis by associating Bourdieu’s conflicted relation to mainstream economics in America with Sociology of Knowledge. Second, his research expands into exploring transformations in economics which is not only related to the field of economics and professional economists, but also to social and political struggles in society.
Katrine Lindvig is a PhD research fellow at the Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen. She holds an interdisciplinary BA and MA in Educational Studies and International Development Studies from Roskilde University. The overall question guiding her research is how to communicate across disciplinary and methodological divides without compromising, reducing or oversimplifying the research – and without losing face or academic identity. This interest is shown in her collaboration with the Danish Think tank Braintrust, who are developing tools for ‘Visual Lingua Francas’, as well as in her collaboration with researchers in the field of science communication. This central research question is also expressed in her dissertation in a study of the linkages between interdisciplinary research and interdisciplinary teaching practices and through an investigation of the practical, didactical and pedagogical planning that happens between policymaking, output assessment and educational accreditation.
Veronika Anna Lipinska
Veronika Anna Lipinska holds a BA(Hons) in Law and Sociology from the University of Warwick (England). Currently she is pursuing an LLM in International and European Tax Law at Lund University, Sweden at the Department of Economics and Management where she does research into VAT and tax design. Her research interests are centred around social and legal theory, jurisprudence and tax design. She has been heavily involved in Model United Nations during her undergraduate years heading the Warwick MUN Society and the biggest UN crisis conference in Europe – WarMUN 2012. She has chaired academic conferences all over Europe and won numerous academic awards. Her focus is on the issue of ‘future generations’ and the consequences of contemporary policies on the development of human populations, technology and ecology. She is a strong advocate of the state as a guardian of freedom and to expand intellectual horizons as well as being the facilitator of science and entrepreneurship. She is a co-author (with Steve Fuller) of The Proactionary Imperative (Palgrave Macmillan).
Dr. Bill Lynch
Bill Lynch is an associate professor in History at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His research interests lie at the intersection of history and social epistemology. By reconsidering the accepted historiographical lessons of constructivist social theory, he argues that work in Science and Technology Studies can shape normative reflections on science, integrating epistemology, ethics, and political theory. What this means in practice is that the history of science is littered with underdeveloped minority views that may have been rejected as the result of a temporary lack of fit with science up to that point, only to reemerge as the theoretical context of science changes. An interest in drawing out tacit counterfactual assumptions of historiographical research programs dates from his time as a grad student in Virginia Tech’s Science and Technology Studies program, when he served as Assistant Editor for Social Epistemology during Steve Fuller’s time there. He completed his PhD at Cornell University under the direction of Peter Dear. His dissertation research on the early Royal Society of London was published as Solomon’s Child: Method in the Early Royal Society (Stanford University Press, 2001). He has published recently on green chemistry, science and engineering ethics, and the causal and counterfactual history of debates about thresholds of safety for radiation and chemical toxins in the Cold War period. He has begun a research project looking at the development and spread of Darwinian thinking across the natural and social sciences, incorporating biological and cultural evolution.
Dr. Lai Ma
Lai Ma is Lecturer at School of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin, where she is also a member of the Centre for Innovation, Technology & Organisation. She received her PhD from Indiana University-Bloomington. Her current project investigates social epistemology as a theoretical framework for the study of information and information infrastructures, including sub-topics such as open access, intellectual property, authority, and responsibility. Her research mainly concerns conceptions of information in relation to epistemology, cultural, political, and social phenomena, and the construction of information infrastructures, drawing from critical social theory, philosophy, and science and technology studies.
James MacFarlane is postgraduate student currently studying for the MSc in Science, Media and Public Policy within the Sociology Department at the University of Warwick (England). For his final year undergraduate thesis (BA Hons Sociology with Social Policy Specialism) he examined the variable standing of both Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and lay health knowledge in recent UK public health policy. This work considered the extent to which ‘alternative’ healing modalities and experiential knowledge of illness might be taken as either competing or co-extensive with biomedical orthodoxy, while reflecting upon the challenges of epistemic pluralism as a means to overcome scientistic reductionism in public health-care. Since continuing to postgraduate study his focus has included 21st century molecular bio-politics, the reconceptualisation of ‘progress’ as a normative ideal amid accelerating sociocultural processes of late-modernity, and STS’s role in the anticipatory governance of post-normal science and technology. His immediate interests are split between self-identification and expression in hyper-technological societies, non-human capacities for agency/personhood, and the blurring of identities between humans, animals and machines. After completing his MSc he plans to begin pursuing a Ph.D supervised by Steve Fuller investigating how affiliative bonding to the non-human might correspond with ‘proactionary’ versus ‘precautionary’ attitudes toward risk, an area of inquiry which he hopes will supplement future ‘trans’ versus ‘post’ human discourses.
Dr. Amanda Machin
Amanda Machin is a post-doctoral researcher at Zeppelin University, Germany where she is researching the interrelationship of climate change, democracy and identity. She has a PhD in political theory supervised by Chantal Mouffe at the University of Westminster, London, UK. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations and Contemporary Political Theory from Westminster, and a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from UCL, London, UK. In her work on citizenship, agonism, embodiment, knowledge and environmental politics she asserts that political disagreement does not preclude democratic interaction but constitutes it, and therefore she challenges the assumption and aim of consensus over environmental issues. Her books are Nations and Democracy: New Theoretical Perspectives (Routledge, 2015) and Negotiating Climate Change: Radical Democracy and the Illusion of Consensus (Zed Books, 2013).
Dr. Alcibiades Malapi-Nelson
Alcibiades Malapi-Nelson received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from York University in 2015. In his dissertation he explored the rise and decline of classical cybernetics, proposing that the whole enterprise can be better understood as the only existent inquiry into the nature of a machine. Currently, he is interested in connecting the ontology that operated in the cybernetic enterprise with that of “emergent” technologies (nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science—NBIC). This research stems from a concern with the subsequent alteration of the notion of “the human” that is bound to occur. Integral to this project, he is attentive to the metaphysical (including humanistic and religious) tenets present in contemporary scientific methodologies. These two angles of investigation shall constitute the basis for an ethical framework that could better prepare us for the upcoming pervasive technological disruptions—without hampering their innovation and development. He is currently teaching at Humber and Seneca colleges, in Toronto.
Dr. Carlo Martini
Carlo Martini is a postdoctoral researcher at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (TINT in short). He completed his Ph.D. at Tilburg University in 2011, under the supervision of Stephan Hartmann and Pieter Ruys, and later lectured at the Philosophy & Economics program at the University of Bayreuth. His primary interests are in philosophy of science and epistemology, particularly in philosophy of economics and social epistemology. He is currently working on problems of expertise and expert deliberation in economics and the social sciences. He also works on epistemic disagreement and the formation of consensus, and he recently started running some experiments on on biases in judgment.The core of Carlo’s research is in philosophy, but his academic formation and research are interdisciplinary. At Tilburg University he wrote a Ph.D. thesis in collaboration with the Department of Economics and Business Administration, and he studied economics and public policy, besides philosophy, at UCLA and the University of Padova. He has been a visiting student first, and then researcher, at several universities, including St. Andrews, UCLA, UPenn, and the University of Sydney.
Dr. Jonathan Matheson
Jonathan Matheson is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville Florida. He received his MA in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005, and his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Rochester in 2010. His research interests are in epistemology and on the epistemic significance of disagreement in particular. His research has focused on questions like the following: Can reasonable people disagree? What is the rational response to disagreement? Are we justified in believing controversial propositions? When is it reasonable to defer to the majority? He is also working on related issues concerning theories of epistemic justification and the nature of epistemic defeaters.
Dr. Fabien Medvecky
Fabien Medvecky is at the University of Otago (NZ), at the Centre for Science Communication. He has degrees in economics and philosophy and completed his PhD at the University of Sydney on philosophical issues in climate change economics. He is currently working on a number of issues at the intersection between science, values and knowledge. Of particular interest are questions around the value of knowledge the rights to acquire knowledge, and the scope and limits of science and science communication as a both a producer and a distributor of knowledge.
Dr. Miljana Milojevic
Miljana Milojevic is an Assistant Professor at the Philosophy Department of the University of Belgrade. She received her PhD from the University of Belgrade in 2013. Her areas of specialization are philosophy of mind and cognition, and philosophy of language. However, her interests also span over various topics in philosophy of science, law, epistemology, deliberative democracy, metaphysics, and history of philosophy. In recent years her research was mostly oriented towards the exploration of the extended cognition hypothesis, and conditions under which parts of the environment, such as cultural and technological artifacts, different social resources, etc., can be counted as constituents of cognitive processes. Now that she is convinced that those conditions can sometimes be met she is ready to take her research towards answering the questions concerning legal rights of cognitively extended subjects, and social consequences of cognitive enhancement.
Mahdi Movahed-Abtahi is an interdisciplinary researcher working on fields and projects that explore the view of Shiite Islam. After studying Islamic seminary teaching (Hawza)(1992), he received his MD from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran (2002) with a thesis on Traditional Islamic Medicine. Along practicing medicine, Mahdi founded ‘BASIR center for Medical and Islamic Research’ (2004) and –as a member of board- has collaborated two academic research centers; ‘Health Humanities’(2007-2009) and ‘Social Determinants of Health’(since 2009). He published his first book ‘About Philosophy of Medicine’ in 2010. Movahed-Abtahi received a MA in Quran Interpretation from the University of Quran`s Sciences and Teachings in Qom (2011). The topic of his MA was ‘the methodology of conceptual analysis in thematic interpretation of the Quran’ where his interdisciplinary skills are explored. His areas of specialization are philosophy of medicine, biomedical ethics, medical jurisprudence (figh), traditional and Islamic medicine, spiritual and pastoral consultation, hermeneutic and interpretation of the Quran. Recently, Mahdi extended his interest to the philosophy of science through working on three projects (‘Tawhid paradigm manages scientific knowledge’, ‘knowledge and science production from revelation resources’, ‘the role of Ahl al-Baith in vitalizing Islamic Law’). Also, he aims to promote spiritual health through writing the chapter of ‘Spiritual Care’ in the ‘Textbook of Palliative Care’, and philosophical discourse through publishing the second edition of ‘About Philosophy of Medicine’ and supervising ‘Medical Students Olympiad on the philosophy of medicine’
Dr. María G. Navarro
Dr María G. Navarro works at the Department of Legal History and Philosophy of Law, Moral and Politics (University of Salamanca). She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy (UNED), M.A. in Philosophy (Complutense University, Madrid), M.A. in Legal Argumentation (University of Alicante). She has worked as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam, and as “Juan de la Cierva” fellow at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). She has received funding from European, Spanish and German institutions to work and conduct research at the Universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg i/B, Birmingham (UK), Amsterdam, The National Autonomous University of Mexico, and The Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Management (CSIC and Polytechnic University of Valencia). Her research interests include Social Epistemology, Deliberative Democracy, Argumentation theories, and Hermeneutics.
Dr. Stephen Norrie
Stephen Norrie has several degrees in sociology from two UK universities (York and Warwick), and is currently reworking his PhD thesis into publishable form. His intellectual project concerns the reconstruction of social theory and political action through a re-examination of the Marxist idea of an Aufhebung of philosophy, a methodology which he considers closely connected to a reflection on the connection between forms of thought and their institutional locus, leading to an interest in theory of the university as an important political site, especially in relation to a reconstructed theory of socialism. His thought can be located in the tradition of evaluating Marxism relative to its German Idealist spawning ground, as exemplified by the work of Georg Lukács, and continued (though with every step forward matched by at least one backwards) by the Frankfurt School. He has also been influenced by Alvin Gouldner’s reflexive sociology and ‘Marxist’ critique of Marxism, Roy Bhaskar’s ‘critical realism’, Descartes’ theory of method, neo-Trotskyism and other recent developments in Marxist theory, neo-Durkheimian theories of ritual, and Foucault’s work on material practices—and would like to find time for a fresh look at Freud. The underlying aim of his work is to expose the current institutional barriers which prevent apparently critical knowledges from serving the cause of genuine social enlightenment and the organisation of effective alternatives to a capitalist system that, far from exhibiting the ‘smartness’ of markets lauded by neoliberals, instead increasingly approximates the brainless lurches of a zombie haplessly wandering towards inevitable splattery annihilation, simply because it doesn’t know how to do anything else.
Dr. Phil Olson
Phil Olson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Science and Technology in Society and a faculty affiliate in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech. Phil completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Emory University in 2007. Phil’s research centers on ethics and epistemology—and particularly on the ways that moral and epistemic responsibilities and values intersect. His work is influenced by classical American pragmatism (especially John Dewey) and by virtue theories (both ancient and contemporary). His recent publications include studies in feminist epistemology and pedagogy, applied virtue ethics, epistemic virtue and value, and the sources of epistemic normativity. One of his current research projects seeks to understand how “epistemic burdens” ought to be distributed within epistemically just communities. Phil has taught graduate courses on virtue epistemology, contemporary epistemology, feminist epistemology, bioethics, American pragmatism, and neoliberalism and society, as well as numerous undergraduate courses on epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion, and ancient Greek culture.
Melissa Orozco is a PhD student at the Instituto de Investigaciones Filósoficas of the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM). She studied Social Psychology at the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ), Mexico and then completed a Master degree in Commercialization of Science and Technology at CIMAV and UT-Austin, USA. She is currently developing a research project about the Converging Technologies Agenda in Mexico. Her particular interest is in the development of empirical studies and improving people’s understanding of social psychology of science. As part of her activities related to this, in the last two years she has been coordinating a psychology of science group (GIPSYCYT) at UAQ.
Victoria Peake holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Warwick, towards which her dissertation explored the value of art practice as a method of sociological enquiry, by exhibiting a painting depicting the cyborg aesthetic of human enhancement technologies and recording viewer responses. She found that visual representation was a powerful tool for getting to people’s preconceptions about a future of uncertainty. Moreover, overall, viewers obtained the main points and debates within the transhumanist discourse, even when no prior knowledge was present and no verbal or written explanation was provided for the piece. Victoria’s interests therefore lie with transhumanism and debates around human enhancement, bioart, and the role of the aesthetic in the pursuit or the production of knowledge.
Dr. David Budtz Pedersen
David Budtz Pedersen is Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Co-Director at the Humanomics Research Centre, Aarhus University (Denmark). His background is in philosophy of science and science policy studies. He holds PhD, MA and BA degrees from University of Copenhagen and University of Vienna, and was Visiting Scholar at New York University in 2009. He is former Speical Adviser to the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education (2005-2012). He has organised and facilitated numerous international workshops and conferences and written and co-written a number of papers on social epistemology. In his dissertation “Political Epistemology” (mentored by Finn Collin) he focused on questions regarding the epistemic analysis of political institutions and the (hidden) epistemology of neoliberal university reforms. He belives epistemic realism can be reconciled with the normative study of scientific institutions. In short, this strategy consists in accepting the influence of institutional factors on knowledge production while at the same time recognising that social aspects do not impede scientific progress but might – under the right conditions – promote it. Lately, his research has focused on the study of the humanities, including the policies underlying the current neuro-turn in the human sciences. His latest publications include the book How to manage the knowledge society? (da. Hvordan styres videnssamfundet?) with Jan Faye.
Dr. Slobodan Perovic
Slobodan Perovic (http://slobodanperovic.weebly.com/) is an Associate Professor of philosophy of science at the Department of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. He is interested in epistemology of experimentation (see his Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry with Allan Franklin, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/physics-experiment) and epistemological ramifications of the early debate over the foundations of quantum mechanics. Currently, he is thinking and writing on a presumed crisis in contemporary particle physics that he believes is predicated on major methodological and social changes in the nature of experimentation in physics after the WWII. The current state of fundamental physics stands in stark contrast to the early 20th century milestone development of Quantum Mechanics that can serve as a template of experimental (as well as epistemic and ontological) diversity, the current lack of which might help diagnose the causes of the presumed crisis.
Dr. Kamili Posey
Kamili Posey is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the History, Philosophy, and Political Science Department at Kingsborough Community College at the City University of New York. She received her BA in Individualized Study from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and her PhD in Philosophy from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research interests are in social and formal epistemology, feminist epistemology, philosophy of science, and science and technology studies. She is currently working on issues concerning the politics of disembodied knowledge and the division of epistemic labor.
Dr. Patrick J. Reider
In 2011, Patrick Reider received his PhD in Philosophy from Duquesne University. His research primarily concerns contemporary analytic thinkers such as Sellars, Brandom, and McDowell, and the manner in which they borrow from Kant and Hegel for the expressed purpose of refining their integrated models of conceptual experience, reason, knowledge, and agency. Patrick is interested in what it is to be human, as outlined in their reworking of German idealism, and in particular, the central role norms play in the obtainment and execution of knowledge, reason, and cognition. He is currently working on the problem of preserving Greek and Roman conceptions of happiness and virtue in light of the normative pluralism of historicism and multiculturalism. He teaches at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
Dr. Francis Remedios
In 2000, Francis Remedios received his PhD from Higher Institute of Philosophy, Leuven University, Belgium. The title of his dissertation was “A Critical Examination of Steve Fuller’s Social Epistemology.” In 2003, his book Legitimizing Scientific Knowledge: An Introduction to Steve Fuller’s Social Epistemology was published. He has published several papers on social epistemology. He is also on the editorial board of the journal Social Epistemology. His current research is on neoliberalism and its impact on science and the problem of humanity. As an independent scholar, Francis is pleased to be a collective member.
Jonathan Rocha received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2016. He is a first year MA student in the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University. His main areas of interests include academic culture, the anthropology of anthropology, social epistemology, reflexivity, anthropological theory and practice, and the history of anthropology. Prior to this, he conducted research for the UTEP Laboratory for Environmental Justice, as well as archaeological fieldwork in the prehistoric southwest for the UTEP Archaeology Program. He is presently interested in the nature of anthropology, and its relationship to science and society.
Verusca holds a PhD in Philosophy from Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), a Masters Degree in Philosophy at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and a Degree in Social Sciences (UFRJ). Her main research field is philosophy of science, especially its relation with sociology of science and science studies. In her PhD thesis, she undertook a critical evaluation of the ethos of science in the new mode of knowledge production. This mainly focussed on the work of the physicist and epistemologist John Michel Ziman as a starting point to understand what has been called “post-academic science” and its consequences for epistemology. She currently holds a post-doctoral research position at UERJ with a scholarship from the Brazilian funding agency CNPQ (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico). Her current research has two lines of interest: on the one hand, investigating the changing values in academic research systems in what has been defined as “commodification of academic research” (or “post-academic science” in Ziman’s view). She is interested in the relationship between various conceptions of ‘science’ and ‘university’ and what we consider as ‘knowledge.’ On the other hand, she continues her research on Ziman’s work, who thought that the strength of science was its ability to produce public knowledge cooperatively. She has presented papers in many congresses in Brazil and also abroad.
Dr. Adam Riggio
Adam Riggio completed his doctorate in philosophy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His research and political work focusses on environmental philosophy and activism, as well as anti-racist and anti-poverty work. Since leaving the academic sector for his employment, he continues his research and publications across a variety of platforms. His major work of environmental philosophical research, Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity, was published in 2015 with Palgrave McMillan. That project developed a framework to understand environmental activism as the expression of a philosophy whose highest potential is developing a more ecological framework for human subjectivity. He continues his environmental activism through his work with Canada’s New Democratic Party, the major voice for social democratic politics in his country. There, he uses his philosophical work as a foundation for developing policy initiatives and community organizing on issues of transit, urban geography, conservation, and energy. Adam is also an independent filmmaker and advocate against poverty and racism in his current hometown of Toronto.
Diana Rishani is a student currently pursuing a double degree in Philosophy and Anthropology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She aims to later on hold a PhD in Developmental Anthropology having the analysis of power relations and their connection to society and knowledge production as the central topic, as well as questioning the nature of the ‘default’ in which knowledge stems from. As well, her interests extend to the process of aesthetic conceptualization in relation to the human condition and its evolution.
Dr. Alex Rushforth
Alex is a researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden University, the Netherlands. He researches the governance of science, particularly issues surrounding the rise of performance indicators, auditing, and academic capitalism. He has a longstanding interest in the cultures and politics of evaluation in biomedical research. Alex also does consulting work for academic institutions in the Netherlands about indicators and evaluations, a activity in which he attempts to perform social epistemology in action.
Dr. Gregory Sandstrom
Gregory Sandstrom has an interdisciplinary background in sociology, economics and philosophy. His higher education was pursued in Canada (University of British Columbia & Wilfrid Laurier University), the Netherlands (Vrije Universitet) and the Russian Federation (St. Petersburg State University and the Sociological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences). He interned at the S.I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology in the Centre for Science Studies and Sociology of Science. After defending his dissertation, he did a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Autonomous National University of Mexico in Mexico City at the Institute for Applied Mathematics and Systems working on themes of science for development and Mode 3 knowledge production. Following that he moved to Lithuania where he began working at the Lithuanian Pedagogical University and later the exiled Belarusian European Humanities University (EHU) in Vilnius and conducted a second post-doc with the Lithuanian Research Council titled “Humanities and the Limits of Scientific Explanation.” In the meantime he has been employed at Bard College’s Language and Thinking Program based at the Institute for Writing and Thinking in New York and in workshops at several venues around the world. He now teaches communications and sociology of media and technology at EHU and is preparing a digital module on public understanding of social sciences and humanities (SSH). His book Human Extension: An Alternative to Evolutionism, Creationism and Intelligent Design presents a novel way out of the quagmire involving three contemporary ideologies, particularly focussing on the importance of SSH in the conversation, and includes a Foreword by Steve Fuller. A major focus of his work since 2003 has been to begin overturning ideological evolutionism particularly in SSH, while at the same time moving beyond it with ‘human extension’ as a reflexive social epistemological approach. Gregory has conducted interviews with several SERRC members and was invited to become the Interviews Editor at the first SERRC conference in Virginia 2014.
Dr. Raphael Sassower
Raphael Sassower received his MA and PhD from Boston University and his BAs in economics and philosophy from Lake Forest College. His areas of prime interest are postmodern technoscience as applied to all the sciences and cultural studies. He has published in the areas of economic and medical theory and methodology, science and technology, postmodernism, education, aesthetics, and Popperian philosophy.
Dr. Frank Scalambrino
Frank Scalambrino is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Akron, Ohio’s Polytechnic University. Regarding Social Epistemology, Dr. Scalambrino writes at the intersection of society and technology, especially issues including solidarity, collective imagination, public interest, postmodernism, and social engineering. The contemporary figures informing his work include Richard Rorty, Heidegger, Jung, Baudrillard, and Deleuze. His edited volume, titled Social Epistemology and Technology, was published in Dec. 2015, as part of the Collective Studies in Knowledge and Society by Rowman and Littlefield International. He was the special guest editor of SERRC Special Issue #4 on “Social Epistemology and Technology” (Feb. 2017). He has worked in multiple community clinical settings including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and was the founding director of Emergency and Community Psychiatric Services covering two counties of Ohio after working as a Forensic Monitor, responsible for monitoring the NGRI residents in two counties of Ohio. His other recent publications include: Full Throttle Heart (The Eleusinian Press, 2015), Meditations on Orpheus (Blackwater Phoenix Press, 2016), Introduction to Ethics: A Primer for the Western Tradition (Kendall Hunt, 2016), and Living in the Light of Death: Existential Philosophy in the Eastern Tradition, Zen, Samurai & Haiku (Magister Ludi Press, 2017). In addition to his chapter contributions to Philosophy and Breaking Bad (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and The X-Files and Philosophy (Open Court Press, 2017), Dr. Scalambrino’s work has appeared in The Review of Metaphysics, Philosophical Psychology, Phenomenology and Mind, Topos, Reason Papers,, Philosophy in Review, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Dr. Matthew Sharpe
Matthew Sharpe works across different disciplines, including a project on different historical conceptions of philosophy and its different utilities. He has authored articles on legal, political and European philosophy, psychoanalysis and critical theory. He is increasingly concerned with the future of philosophy and the humanities in the new economy.
Dr. Mark Shiffman
Mark Shiffman is a skeptical humanist and traditional Catholic. His researches focus on the transformations through the ages of the disciplines of knowledge in the west, from the Greeks to the present, in both the practical (moral, economic and political) and theoretical (metaphysical, natural scientific and mathematical) fields of inquiry. Years of reflection have brought him to three conclusions relevant to SERRC: 1. The scope and limits of social epistemology are lucidly outlined and critiqued in Plato’s allegory of the cave; 2. The fundamental principles of Aristotle’s analysis of nature have been largely vindicated by post-Einstein physics and also articulate the starting points of the most rigorous empiricism, and should thus be recognized as the most adequate foundations of a philosophy of science; 3. The understanding of creation developed by Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Bonaventure and Aquinas is superior in every important respect to the modern theologico-metaphysical horizon within which Transhumanism remains intellectually confined. He has also concluded that, in all three cases, the fundamental point at issue is whether we do or do not recognize Goodness as a principle of Being, and that (contra Nietzsche) it is the neo-Gnostic refusal to recognize this principle that engenders nihilism. Mark Shiffman studied at Saint John’s College and the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, and is the translator of Aristotle’s De Anima (Focus Books) and Descartes’ Rules for the Direction of the Mind (forthcoming, Saint Augustine’s Press).
Dr. Elisabeth Simbürger
Elisabeth Simbürger was the online-editor of the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective from July 2011 – February 2012). She is a lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile. Elisabeth’s research focuses on the idea of the university and its discourses in Higher Education, geared towards a critique of the neoliberal university and its impact on academic work and the intellectual development of disciplines. She is particularly interested in visual epistemologies and has recently carried out a visual ethnography of Higher Education advertisement in public spaces (metro) in Santiago. Between October 2011 and October 2014 Elisabeth is carrying out research on academic identities and practice in neoliberal contexts of Chilean Higher Education, looking at the disciplines of sociology, education and biology (funded by the Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (Fondecyt)). Elisabeth studied sociology at the universities of Vienna, Bielefeld and Warwick. She holds a Mag. in sociology from the University of Vienna, Austria and an MA in Comparative Labour Studies and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick, UK. Her thesis (supervised by Steve Fuller) was about British sociology and sociologists and how they practise or compromise their own disciplinary aspirations as sociologists.
Tatiana Sokolova received her BA in Philosophy from the Russian State University for the Humanities and her MA in Philosophy from the National Research University, Higher School of Economics. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Ontology, Logic and Theory of Knowledge (HSE) and also works for the Department of Social Epistemology (Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Science). CV from the Institute of Philosophy RAS web-site: http://eng.iph.ras.ru/sokolova_tatyana.htm
Dr. Tereza Stöckelová
Dr. Tereza Stöckelová is a researcher at the Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, assistant professor at the Department of General Anthropology, Charles University, and editor-in-chief of the English edition of /Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review/. Her work is situated in-between sociology, social anthropology and science and technology studies (STS), and draws upon actor network theory and related material semiotic methodologies. She has ethnographically investigated academic practices in the context of current policy changes, science and society relations and environmental controversies. She has also been engaged in policy and public debates on science and research assessment (see for example the report commissioned by European Science Foundation http://www.esf.org/uploads/media/spb50_ScienceInSociety.pdf). In 2015 she started a new research project concerned with “multiple medicine”—ethnography of the interfaces between biomedical and alternative therapeutic practices. Homepage: http://www.soc.cas.cz/en/lide/tereza-stockelova
Dr. Todd Suomela
Todd Suomela studied philosophy and English and Yale University and completed an MS in information science at the University of Michigan in 2007. He is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University of Tennessee in information science and communication. His major research interests are citizen science, expert communication, and science and technology studies. He is currently working on a dissertation project to study the communication frames and information exchanges between scientists, project managers, funders, publicists, and journalists involved in citizen science. He has taught classes in information technology and the philosophy of the commons. Before returning to school he worked in information technology, retail, consulting, and education. He has volunteered as an instructor for a free school, a museum docent for the Walker Art Center, and an interpreter at the Science Museum of Minnesota. His interests include creativity, libraries, classification, ontology, epistemology, ethics, interpretation, sociology, psychology, astronomy, meteorology, programming, business, music, postmodernism, juggling, metaphor, mutation, and more. Much more can be found online at his personal website.
Erika Szymanski is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. She holds a BS in molecular biology from Grove City College, a MS in microbiology from the University of Rochester, and a MA in English rhetoric and composition from Washington State University. Her current research concerns how science communication texts constructs research-industry relationships and rhetorical strategies for improving the relevance of science communication in the wine industry. In this project, and longer term, her goal is to improve the efficacy of applied science by acknowledging the limited and material nature of science and the validity of industry (and other public) knowledge in specific the rhetorical processes of science communication texts in ways that make it easier to overlap science and practice. Her other research interests include science writing pedagogy, science writing across the curriculum, the implication of local knowledges in sustainable agriculture, and interactions amongst wine science and other elements of wine culture. She is the wine science columnist for Palate Press: The online wine magazine and blogs about wine science, among other things, at wineoscope.com.
Jessica Tatchell is an undergraduate student at the University of Warwick, currently working towards completing a BA in Sociology. Her research has recently focused on how the transhumanist principle of ‘morphological freedom’ (an entitlement to modify the body and mind) translates onto virtual bodies through a digital ethnography exploring ethical discourses surrounding the right to self-modification. She is also presently completing her undergraduate research thesis, which will examine the relationship between neoliberal subjectivities and the phenomena of neurohacking. Her broader research interests revolve around the interrelationship between the body, emerging technologies, (dis)ability and identity in the 21st century. Jessica is the lead editor of the Warwick Sociology Journal (WSJ).
Dr. Georg Theiner
Georg Theiner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, and an affiliated member of the Cognitive Science Program, at Villanova University. He received his PhD in Philosophy, with a Joint PhD in Cognitive Science, at Indiana University in 2008. Before joining Villanova in 2011, he was a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta. He also holds degrees in Philosophy and Theoretical Linguistics from the University of Vienna. He works primarily in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, with occasional forays into metaphysics and philosophy of science. In his book Res Cogitans Extensa: A Philosophical Defense of the Extended Mind Thesis (2011), Theiner defends the claim that human cognition is not confined to the biological boundaries of skin or skull, but actively incorporates an astounding variety of bodily, technological, social, and cultural resources. An overarching goal of his research has been to expand and elaborate the ‘extended mind’ franchise by engaging with cognate conceptions of embodied, embedded, extended, and enacted (‘4e’) cognition, collaborative and distributed cognition, group cognition, and investigations of the role of language, writing, and other symbol systems as ‘cognitive enhancement’ technologies. He has authored over a dozen journal articles and book chapters. Theiner is the subject editor for Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science for the international peer-reviewed journal AVANT (http://avant.edu.pl/en/), and has served as a referee for over fifteen scholarly journals. He lives in Philadelphia. Homepage: https://villanova.academia.edu/GeorgTheiner
Miika Vähämaa works as researcher and lecturer in social psychology and communication at Department of Social Research at the University of Helsinki, Finland. In the final stages of receiving his PhD, Vähämaa holds Master´s in Social Science from the University in Helsinki and recently submitted his doctoral dissertation on “Groups as Epistemic Communities: Reconsidering the Social Psychology of Knowledge” for academic review at the University of Helsinki. Vähämaa´s research interests focus on the intersection of social psychology of knowledge, communication and social epistemology. He believes that much of social science has crossed epistemic issues, even developed important aspects of social epistemology, but then failed to promote the epistemological aspects of the results gained in social scientific research, resulting in the expansion of the formal logical epistemology of natural sciences to take over the field of “epistemology” even in social science. Vähämaa´s theoretical work pursues to map the existing contributions of social psychology and communication to the field of social epistemology. In his empirical work Vähämaa keeps focusing on the function of social epistemologies in practice. He has studied by quantitative social science methods epistemic communities around mathematics, attitudes towards science across ethnic groups, as well as epistemic groups in international political communication. Vähämaa´s work has been published in Social Epistemology, Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, Javnost – The Public, Kulttuurintutkimus and Nordicom Review. He has also conducted non-academic survey research to the Prime Minister´s Office in Finland. Parallel and prior to academic career Vähämaa has worked as a journalist in leading Finnish print and television media as well as a musician at the Uusi Teatteri – a Finnish speaking theatre in Stockholm. Upon graduating from high school in small-town Finland, Vähämaa joined the Finnish army and returned to civilian life as a lowest ranking sergeant of Finnish special forces. He then commenced his studies at the University of Helsinki. Inresistant to the enchanting world and its adventures “out there” Vähämaa has also studied medicine at the Moi University in Western Kenya, physics and biology at the University of Lund in Sweden and vocals the University of North Carolina at Asheville. At Asheville Vähämaa met Dr. Mark D. West, a member of Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, with whom he started to work together on papers tapping into social epistemology. Their collaborative efforts have now lasted a decade and Dr. West worked as Vähämaa´s dissertation advisor.
Dr. Elisa Vecchione
Elisa Vecchione is Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK, London) and Research Associate to the Group of Pragmatic and Reflexive Sociology at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris). She currently works on a project at LHSTM called GRIP-Health (ERC-funded) related to the politics of “evidence-based” policymaking for health. The project looks at the way institutional and political factors shape the use of evidence for health policies in different countries and Elisa has since then had the incredible privilege to conduct fieldworks in Ghana and Ethiopia to investigate how and whether political, cultural and scientific rationales intermingled in the two countries. To be sure, she has always been very suspicious about the concept of “evidence-based” decision since the times of her PhD thesis. Trained as a law&economics scholar (she received her PhD in Institutions, Economics and Law from Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin, Italy), she developed her thesis on the divergence between the normative patterns of GMOs risk regulation in the United States and the European Union. De facto she escaped the comfortable law&economics category of risk and risk attitude as well as that of degree of precaution, to explain the opposite regulatory outcomes in the two countries. Simply put and in relation to the majority of environmental and health-related issue, she argued that there was no such scientific evidence available to gauge and justify the degree of divergence between the two regulatory choices; there was rather a different epistemological attitude showed by the two countries toward scientific uncertainty – rather than evidence – along with a different normative use of it. Hence, she took scientific uncertainty as her preferred perspective to investigate the normative implications of science, that is, the epistemological underpinnings allowing scientific uncertainty to be translated into “evidence” in different contexts characterized by contestation and controversy, such as the judiciary, policy and institutional spaces. One separate contribution for each of these spaces of controversy can be found, respectively, in the Chicago Journal of International Law, the European Journal of Risk Regulation and in the chapter of “Risk Analysis” forthcoming in the Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment (Dunlop and Radaelli, eds. 2015). Since then, her research was meant to explore the possibility of building modes of coordination among different types of actors and in different arenas of decision-making by relying on uncertain—but still scientific!—science. In the framework of the Sustainable RIO project (EU 7FP) for which she spent three years at Sciences Po and IDDRI in Paris, she approached the study of scenario building for climate change with the same perspective: instead of looking at how to reduce scientific uncertainty to validate, stabilize and even institutionalize some common scenario to be retained as reliable future, she developed a new theoretical framework for deliberating over uncertainty. This briefly consists in setting up a new scientific methodology enabling the construction of a new epistemic space in which deliberation would occur over specific assumptions of scenario modeling and not over its outcomes. This work in particular is still in progress but a preliminary (long) version can be found here. Her main contention is that the condition for applying such framework is to emancipate from what she calls “the comfortable effect of symmetry” between the past and future which feeds the illusion of a controllable future while making the urgency of the present moment impossible to feel. The scientific community along with its practices and connection to policy has long—and arguably unconsciously—contributed to reinforce this state of affairs. This said, science is also able to break it down by taking the performativity of models seriously, starting from the very engine of uncertain parameters which provide the basis for constructing some anticipated history of the future and reconsidering the democratic character of all scientific enterprise.
Dr. Lee Vinsel
Lee Vinsel is an Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology. He is completing his first book, tentatively titled Moving Violations: The History of Auto Regulation in the United States, which examines auto regulation from 1893 to the present, ending with a consideration of contemporary discourse about self-driving cars. The core argument of this book is that government regulation of technology achieves its tasks by forming and re-forming epistemic communities around specific problems. His second planned archival project, Innovation Nation, will describe the rise of the innovation idea and innovation-speak in the United States. It will examine this rise in the context of concrete policy prescriptions and practices that have remade the sociotechnical world around “innovation.” Lee is also deeply interested in the philosophy of social science, particularly as it applies to the empirical study of technology’s social dimensions. He believes that several academic disciplines have made great headway in the study of technology since the 1970s, but disciplinary boundaries have kept us from learning from each other. He hopes to begin writing an introductory textbook, People and Things: Notes on Technology Studies, which will present a synthesis of findings from archaeology, anthropology, economics, history, management studies, psychology, sociology, and other fields in the summer of 2016.
Dr. Ian Werkheiser
Ian Werkheiser received his PhD in philosophy from Michigan State University in 2015, and is now an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy department at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. His dissertation focused on the areas of social epistemology, environmental justice, and food sovereignty. It argued that the presence of community epistemic capacities is a necessary requirement of meaningful political participation, particularly in issues around food and environmental justice. His current research uses resources in social epistemology to look at how communities of resistance address environmental harms and hazards, particularly around food, while also dealing with social and political oppression or marginalization. Part of that project involves transdisciplinary collaboration with activists. For example, Ian has worked with La Via Campesina on a project looking at barriers to women’s participation in the food sovereignty movement, and is now beginning to work with activists in his new home in the Rio Grande Valley.
Dr. Mark West
Mark West is a professor at the University of North Carolina, Asheville in its mass communication department, which he has chaired twice. He took his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, and his dissertation, on the effect of media coverage of the Tet 1968 offensive in the Vietnam conflict, won two international awards. He has written five books, numerous book chapters, articles and presentations, and is presently completing a book on the linkages between Kantian perspectives on communication and modern empirical research. He is interested particularly in the question of doxastic voluntarism — do we have a choice about what we believe? West was a participant in the research projects which led to much of the modern legislation concerning television violence as profiled in the Presidential Commission on Television Violence, devised the statistical analytic methods used by television networks for real-time analysis of presidential debates, and has published extensively on the relationship between television violence and the levels of fear in communities. West is a member of numerous scholarly organizations, including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Southern Association for Public Opinion Research. West has served extensively as a consultant for governmental agencies on the analysis of large-scale bodies of textual materials, such as the real-time evaluation of extremely large databases of emails or related materials. West is a Perl programmer, user of Linux, and has experience in Forth, SNOBOL 4 / Icon, and other string-oriented languages. Prior to pursuing an academic career, West was a print journalist.
Dr. Emilie Whitaker
Emilie is a Lecturer in Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Salford and holds an Honorary Lectureship in Sociology at Cardiff University. She holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham. She has an MSc in Public Policy from Queen Mary, University of London and a BA Hons in History and Sociology from the University of Warwick. Emilie is an ethnographer and sociologist interested in care, welfare, death and futures. An interdisciplinarian of a deviant nature, Emilie’s interests transgress the social sciences and humanities.
Her work frequently involves an exploration of time, particularly understandings, visions and experiences of futures and endings. Here she is keen to tie together theoretical work on trans/post human futures and empirical accounts of futures and future-making. Her work on alternative end of life practices encompasses these themes of knowledge, care, imagination and temporality. In particular, she is interested in the inter-relational aspects of our trans/posthuman futures particularly how we love, human/non-human relationships and matters of intimacy. More immediately she is engaged in work exploring how young people today conceive of the future, where they draw their ideas from and how they feel about the increasing intermeshing of the human body with technology.
She is also interested in methodological innovation in ethnographic practices, writing and representation.
She is a contributor to The Sociological Review Blog, a member of The Future Matters Collective, The British Sociological Association and the Social Policy Association.
Pedro Saez Williams
Pedro Saez Williams is a PhD student at the Department of Sociology in the University of Warwick. His intellectual project is concerned with the metaphysics of authority, particularly cognitive authorities that purport to transcend nature and/or the social, and the relationship between cognitive authority, the body, and the involuntariness of doubt. Originally trained as a lawyer, Saez Williams has been involved in political activism, political work and legal practice before deciding to engage in graduate study. He holds a LL. B. from the Universidad Iberoamericana, an M. A. in Social Anthropology from the University of Vienna, and an M. Phil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge.